Today will see a dress rehearsal before the curtain comes up for real in one week.
Today, all four Lodi area high school football teams — Lodi, Tokay, Galt and Liberty Ranch — will be taking part in scrimmages against other schools. Two of those area schools are hosting round-robin scrimmages, with one of the area schools taking part in it. The other hits the road for its scrimmage.
At the Grape Bowl starting at 8 p.m., Lodi will host a four-way scrimmage that includes Galt, Patterson and River City of West Sacramento. The triple-digit heat that is hitting the region for a fourth consecutive day led the start time to be pushed back by an hour.
According to Lodi coach George Duenas, the first round goes from 8 until 8:46 p.m. During that time, Lodi will face Patterson while Galt takes on River City. In the next round that is projected to go from 9 until 9:46 p.m. Lodi and Galt will battle on the west side of the Grape Bowl, while Patterson and River City are on the east side.
The format for each scrimmage, according to Duenas, has teams facing the other to go 10 minutes. Two minutes are given for teams to switch offense/defense. Each team will have two offensive and defensive rotations per scrimmages for 20 minutes each on offense and defense. The format repeats for the second round after a 14-minute break.
Duenas, in his second year running Lodi’s program, is sending a simple message for his own players taking part in today’s scrimmages.
“Just looking for my guys to compete and fly around,” Duenas said. The Flames will charge $4 at the gate for spectators.
On the other side of the city, Tokay will unofficially open its revamped on-campus stadium, Hubbard Field, for a round-robin scrimmage that include East Union of Manteca, Gregori of Modesto and Atwater. Their scrimmages will also start at 7 p.m.
Tokay will take on Gregori at 7. At 7:40, the Tigers and East Union battle, and the final round has Tokay taking on Atwater.
The format, according to Tokay coach Michael Holst, will have the two teams starting at the 40-yard line. The ball is reset to the same spot after a score or turnover.
Holst, too, is looking for the development of his players.
“We just need to continue improving and do well with our base schemes,” Holst said. “We also need to get quality reps and get some of our second team guys some good looks and reps at different positions.”
Liberty Ranch will scrimmage at Bear Creek, also at 7 p.m. The scrimmage, too, was originally scheduled for a 6 p.m. start until the heat led to the scrimmage pushed back an hour.
Admission for the Tokay scrimmages is $4 for adults and $2 for senior citizens and students.
Tokay will start its season at Patterson in a non-league game on Friday, Aug. 23. The Tigers will officially open Hubbard Field against Stagg on Sept. 6.
Galt will officially open its revamped Warrior Stadium, also on Aug. 23, with a non-league contest against Woodland Christian. Liberty Ranch will host Johnson of Sacramento on the same day.
Lodi will kick off its season on Friday, Aug. 30 when it welcomes Ceres to the Grape Bowl.
Contact Mike Bush at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.